Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Success With Schoology

Had a great time with Schoology in the classroom yesterday.  I used Schoology to link students to an online resource for them to read with their table partners.  After reading the article I posted sentence frames for them to complete.  Instead of having them write their sentence frames in their spiral I have them post their sentence frames in the comments section of the assignment on Schoology.  After they were done posting their sentence frame, students were instructed to leave two pieces of positive feedback for their peers using the reply feature in comments.

 For this assignment the reading was an informative article about George Washington but I am looking forward to doing this with a pro/con perspective and have students debate in the comments section using sentence frames and quoting the text to back up their position.  This could be a great way of doing socratic seminar or philosophical chairs that allow students who don't always speak up to post their thoughts to be read.  For students who struggled with the text it was helpful for them to see others response before doing their own.  When I asked for feedback, one student comment, "it made it easy to participate even if I was unsure of my answer".  Another student said "it was really nice to be working with the whole class instead of just my table partner".  Overall it was a positive experience for me and the kids.  A couple problems I ran into were the iPad Schoology app did not allow students to edit or erase their comments.  The phone app did.  This lead to students posting mistakes and the only option to fix was for me to erase and have them start over. The other problem was when the students went to type their comments the box for them to type in covered the assignment up, including the sentence frame.  They also couldn't view the document without closing their comment.  The work around for these was to put the sentence frames on the board.  For students to access the article while working on the sentence frame they just needed to open the article in Safari from Schoology.

To do this students click on the link in Schoology which opens the web page in Schoology, then in the lower right hand corner is a box with an arrow allowing you to open the page in Safari.  This allows the student to use multitasking to go back and forth between the their comments and the article.  Some students did copy and paste a line from the article.  When students did this I asked them to explain the sentence in the comments section.